American Indonesian Chamber of Commerce

/American Indonesian Chamber of Commerce

Honking in the Free World

Commentary by Wayne Forrest Their signs read  “Om Telolet Om”.  It simply means, “sir, honk your horn, sir”.  Young girls and boys, especially in Jakarta, hold them up for passing bus drivers, hoping to prompt them to play their musical horns as they drive by.  It’s a fun, clean game with instant rewards, especially given [...]

Two Years In

Two years into his 5 year term President Jokowi is exhibiting some of the qualities of former President Suharto. I say this not to compare them in any fundamental way - Jokowi is not an authoritarian-  but to illustrate the process by which each consolidated power in the early years after they became President. Jokowi [...]

The Big Number

Commentary by Wayne Forrest AMCHAM Indonesia and the US Chamber of Commerce recently released the fourth in their terrific annual series of reports that collectively put the US as perhaps Indonesia’s largest overall economic partner. The first 3 reports (2013-2015) established the case for the US designation as the largest foreign investor. With this year’s [...]

Educated Abroad

Commentary by Wayne Forrest Indonesia has always had an ambivalent attitude towards foreigners, foreign investment, and Indonesians educated abroad. I began thinking about this during the latest Cabinet reshuffle when several highly successful Indonesians returned from long stints abroad. 71 years after independence it still isn't an easy transition for an Indonesian to return or [...]

Golkar Returns

For those familiar with Indonesian politics Golkar is the party synonymous with Indonesia’s economic development. More than a just a political party, Golkar was an amalgamation of various “functional groups” (military, government bureaucrats, farmer’s organizations, etc.) that implemented the New Order government’s economic agenda. Golkar was engineered to be a partner of the government and [...]

Duane Gingerich’s Pivot: In Memoriam (1942-2016)

As President Obama prepares to receive most of Southeast Asia's heads of state at the US-ASEAN Summit February 15-16 in Rancho Mirage I am thinking of a recently fallen friend of AICC, Duane Gingerich, who passed away last Friday. President Obama had it right several years ago when he coined the "pivot to Asia" policy, [...]

New Deregulation Package

Indonesia has released the second of three deregulation/stimulus packages designed to boost a flagging economy and strengthen the exchange rate. The first (released September 10) was primarily an exercise in reducing red tape and regulatory confusion in the trade arena and did not garner a lot of attention and praise, perhaps because its hard to [...]

The Meaning of Banggai

August 7, 2015President Jokowi traveled to the Banggai Regency in central Sulawesi this week to inaugurate the $5.8 billion "Pertamina Mega Integrated Project", which is planned to match the upstream production of natural gas with downstream users. The visit follows other forays of the President around the country to jump start other infrastructure projects including: [...]

Idul Fitri Reshuffle

June 30, 2105The serious Cabinet reshuffle rumors began in June: in Indonesia, they are part of the air one breaths. An underwhelming economic performance would prompt President Jokowi to reshuffle his Cabinet after Lebaran (end of the Muslim fasting month on July 18), especially his economic team. The economy is, given Indonesia's potential, standing still, [...]

Soekarno’s Echo

Indonesia's first President became so frustrated with the "West" that he famously declared " go to hell with your aid".  A combination of the Cold War and misjudgments of Soekarno's complex ideology (mixing capitalism and socialism) led the US and other countries down several dead ends that almost capsized relations completely.  The late 1950's and [...]